Wednesday, December 29, 2004

What's Wang This Week

I was able to retrieve what files I needed from my laptop on Monday, which was nice. While I was getting the files from my laptop in their repair room, I also backed up all my e-mail onto a CD. So, crisis averted, and all of my precious e-memories are also safe.

The gift - nay, the labour of (platonic) love - has been delivered, with solid results. I took a few risks with my gift selections this year, but all has worked out well. Score one for the Bang.

Today was the first Asbestos Concern session in four months, and a good time was had by all. Look for an album in early spring. I also found out that Eric doesn't know where our blogs are. So, Eric, you can find my blog at

Ron Sexsmith is much cooler than you.

Despite the general good cheer and fun festivities of the last week, I've been feeling pretty ho-hum. A little Lugs reunion, a visit with Mantek, some good video gaming action (and by "action" I mean "bickering-over"), sushi and stories over a bottle of sake works wonders. All signs point to yes.

That is all.

Current Music: Ron Sexsmith - Retriever

Friday, December 24, 2004

Richard Liang's A Series of Unfortunate Events

I tried twice to send my final project for 296 to my prof via e-mail; both times it failed, even though the second time it said it sent successfully. Now it is overdue and the only existing copy is on my laptop, which is now in the hands of the service centre.


Current Music: Brian Wilson - Smile

Happy Christmahanukkwanzaakah to you

I'm afraid I can't say what it is, but I've been working for two days on something and now it's finally done. Now all that's left is to deliver it to its recipient. It was such hard work that I've become all bitter, and even though he has no idea he's receiving it, damn it he better like it.

I'd like to do a year-end list of some sort, but I can't think of anything to write that isn't too grumpy-sounding. I'll keep thinking.

Anyway, to you, dear readers, I wish a Happy Decemberween.

Current Music: Uncle Tupelo - Still Feel Gone

Random quotes from my past, provided without context #6

"Shakin' that ass."

-- Jowen Yeo

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Update: Progress to date

I have now acquired and consumed a pint of Alexander Keith's India Pale Ale, as well as taken my laptop to the service centre. However, I have still not eaten any Hot & Readys. And, Jim failed to inspire me, so I'm still looking for a muse. Any volunteers?

With one computer still in Berkeley and another in the shop, I have dug up Ol' Reliable, the first computer that I ever got to call my own, and have hooked it all back up. I have this feeling I'll still be using it somehow when I'm 40. I love you, old girl. I mean, Reliable. I mean, uh, nothing.

Current Music: Sarah Slean - Me & Jerome

Random quotes from my past, provided without context #5

"There is no Kurdhistan."

-- Derek Tsang

ED: It turns out this was probably actually Victor Ho. Oops.

Random quotes from my past, provided without context #4

"Okay fine... B.A. Beardacus"

-- Mike Dunning

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Random quotes from my past, provided without context #3

"My brother is a ballerina."

-- Leah Kimura

Random quotes from my past, provided without context #2

"I said non-stop pop, not non-stop eggs."

-- Adam Pauls

Random quotes from my past, provided without context #1

"I like ice cream. Big boy."

-- Travis Tanner

Things at home I don't miss at all #2 and #3

Thing at home I don't miss at all #2: Swollen Members
I guess I just don't give two shits about them either way anyway.

Thing at home I don't miss at all #3: Chubby Chicken
... which is funny, because I always thought of it fondly. I guess it just isn't an integral enough part of my existence for me to miss.


Things I have accomplished this trip home so far:
  1. Completed my last project, so I am completely done
  2. Seen "Ocean's Twelve"
  3. Started Christmas shopping
  4. Gotten in touch with a bunch of people I've been meaning to get in touch with
  5. Acquired, and consumed, one glass Sleeman Honey Brown Lager

Things I have yet to do:
  1. Get my laptop fixed
  2. Finish Christmas shopping
  3. See "The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou"
  4. Re-learn how to play the guitar
  5. Finish a bunch of recordings
  6. Finish the last Jones in the Fast Lane song
  7. Find a muse (I'm looking at you, Jim), learn to write political, or find some other musical inspiration
  8. Get in touch with the other 80% of people I've been meaning to get in touch with
  9. Acquire, and consume, one pint Alexander Keith's India Pale Ale
  10. Acquire, and consume, one bottle Blanche du Chambly
  11. Acquire, and consume, one Hot & Ready, preferably with Crazy Bread (repeat ad infinitum)

It's gonna be a busy month.

Current Music: Hawksley Workman - For Him and the Girls

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Be it ever so humble...

Blah blah blah. School sucks.

Current Music: Kraftwerk - Trans Europe Express

Thursday, December 16, 2004

One semester down (almost)

I am so tired right now. I still have to do a little project, but I can do that over the weekend and e-mail it to my prof. But in any case that's my first semester as a grad student in the books, and it was good (except for the last bit).

I am so tired I don't remember what I was going to write about, nor do I care.

Current Music: Bob Dylan - The Man In Me

T-minus 9 hours until 215

It's go time, Jowen.

Current Music: Cheap Trick - I Want You To Want Me

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Things at home I am really glad to be rid of #1

I haven't been all that homesick (yet) but I sure do look forward to going home, and the Lower Mainland is still home to me. However, there are a few things that I don't miss at all, and some that I am really glad to be rid of.

Thing at home I am really glad to be rid of #1: Bif Naked
Man, I couldn't stand Bif Naked.

Thing at home I don't miss at all #1: Sui Sha Ya in Coquitlam
I still can't figure out why they have so much business.

Current Music: Green Day - Wake Me Up When September Ends

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

That sucked

It has been three hours since I handed in the take-home portion of my exam. Still no idea on how much longer before I regain my self-esteem or confidence. I don't think I've ever worked so hard on any exam or assignment for so little return. Anyway, it's done, insofar as solving two and a half questions out of 6 constitutes "done".

It occurred to me today that of my peer group around here, I may be the only person who has ever heard "Heterosexual Man" by the Odds. This, combined with the mix CD that our Kiwi friend Brad has given us for Decemberween, has made me think about how no one here would have heard of a lot of the music I've been listening to lately: AC Newman, Sarah Slean, Hawksley Workman, Sloan, and the Tragically Hip. In other news, I've been listening to the Tragically Hip. I never really cared much either way for them, but I guess that their songs have been around me for so long that it just doesn't feel right when I don't hear them every day.

Yesterday I turned on the TV and saw a curling match between some European team and the American women's team. It was certainly a shock seeing "TSN" written right there in the middle of the button, as well as ads for Mitchell's Fine Foods or whatever it's called. Well, it was a shock to see a button at all. The commentary was great too: think Fox's brief foray into covering the NHL, only applied to curling.

And while I'm talking about Canada, I'll mention that I am incredibly pissed that I missed Wilco at the Commodore, with AC Newman opening for them. Damn it!!!1!!11one!!!1tilde

Current Music: The Mutton Birds - Straight To Your Head

Sunday, December 12, 2004

T-minus 41 hours until 205 is due

If you don't hear from me in three days, tell my parents I love them.

Current Music: The Tragically Hip - Ahead by a Century

Friday, December 10, 2004

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Current status

My browser no longer hates me.

My stomach no longer hates me very much.

My laptop hates me.

I like me.

Current Music: Gillian Welch - Rock of Ages

Update: It's a whisk

The thing that I had thought was a badly-designed potato masher is in fact a whisk.

Who knew?

Current Music: AC Newman - On The Table

Monday, December 06, 2004

It's important that I live the next 24 hours as a BLACK WOMAN

Okay, I just remembered something really cool. I don't know this guy, but Jowen probably does, and a friend of Jowen's is a friend of mine.

Current Music: George Harrison - Give Me Love

Maybe this is why there's so much cruft on the internet

The novelty of having a new blog makes me want to write stuff all the time. However, all I can think to write about is how I have three eggs whose best before date is tomorrow, but I don't feel like eating them right now.

For a minute there, I was actually considering writing about that. I am so lame.

Current Music: Broken Social Scene - Cause = Time

Sunday, December 05, 2004

What's Wang This Week

What a difference a change of scenery makes. The pretty backgrounds and general difficulty-of-use of blogspot has made me excited about blogging again. I'm back to checking my blog every five minutes to see if anyone's posted comments. I haven't felt this way in months.

Having figured out how to put links in the sidebar (sort of) and having gotten myself some webspace for which to post pictures, I am now off the the races. So, let's celebrate with the

  1. Rhli
  2. Curiousest Q. Adage
  3. Perseverance O. Butcheries
  4. Rhlhne
  5. Rhlhs
  6. Rhliang
  7. Quirking I. Splay
  8. Gingersnap B. Factionalism
  9. Rhhall
  10. Alberto Hankins

Current Music: The Walkmen - The Rat

Friday, December 03, 2004

Wow, the Grizzlies sucked

Excerpted from my last lab for Stat 215A:

In 1994 basketball fans in Vancouver rejoiced as the National Basketball Association finalized plans to expand the league by forming two new franchises in Canada. Toronto named their team the Raptors, cashing in on the then-fresh Jurassic Park novelty. After much discussion, Vancouver chose as a name for their team the Grizzlies. (It had actually been suggested that the team be named the Vancouver Rain; while there was still some complaining about the Grizzlies name, it was widely agreed that at least there was the possibility of having a mascot.)

Things looked good at the time for the burgeoning young franchise. The front-office appeared to be in good hands under the supervision of one Stu Jackson, the team's first general manager. A uniform design in bright red and teal was approved in an attempt to connect to British Columbia's rich aboriginal culture.

1995 saw the Grizzlies draft Bryant ``Big Country'' Reeves, a seven-foot giant from Oklahoma who had soft hands and an even softer belly. Widely heralded as the best centre in the draft, he was picked 6th overall and Grizzlies management touted him as the first building block, as the player that they were to build the team around. A rag-tag but lovable team of castoffs (Doug Edwards) and veterans in the twilights of their careers (Byron Scott and Gerald Wilkins), the Grizzlies proceeded to win their first two games.

They then lost their next eighteen games.

After a rough start, Big Country began to round into form. Relieved to have broken their losing streak at 18 games, the team began to play better, even respectably. Sadly, this was not to last. Before the season ended, the team would go on another horrendous losing streak, this time shattering the league record by losing 23 straight games, a mark that still stood as of this year. The team finished with 15 wins and 67 losses, at or near the bottom of the league.

Over the next several years, through a combination of fair-to-middling draft picks and highly questionable personnel moves by management, the Grizzlies continued to flounder along, constantly showing signs of improvement without actually improving. There were bright spots, though: they had a real franchise player in Shareef Abdur-Rahim; they had a centre that was capable of producing 20 points and 10 rebounds a game in Big Country; they drafted Mike Bibby, a talented point guard who continues to shine in Sacramento; and they had a well-respected coach in Brian Hill.

Still, their third season was not meant to be a good one. After a long work stoppage, the season (shortened to 50 games) started several months after originally planned. Big Country, who had been awarded a 5-year, $50 million contract over the off-season, showed up to training camp 30 pounds overweight. Bibby, already having expressed reluctance at playing in Canada, was completely overshadowed by another rookie point guard playing in Sacramento.

Their fourth season began badly. The team decided (poorly, in hindsight) to draft, with their 2nd overall pick, Steve Francis, a headcase who very publicly refused to play in Canada. Even though the team likely only intended to use him as trade bait, his attitude hurt the team by diminishing his trade value. Around this point, too, the team stopped offering its special promotion that would offer $15 tickets to shoppers at a Canadian pharmacy chain. This led to a dramatic decline in attendance.

The team's final years in Vancouver were characterized by even more losing and constant question about the team's ownership. The team narrowly avoided being sold to Bill Laurie, husband of the heir to the Wal-Mart fortune, and being moved to St. Louis. However, a move was inevitable and after being sold to Michael Heisley, the team was moved to Memphis for the start of the 2001-2002 season.

Through all of this the Vancouver fans suffered. Already the losingest city in North American professional sports, the city watched as the team blundered its way through 6 seasons. Many of the moves the team made appeared to be good ones at the time; very few of them panned out. The Raptors, who had started out at the same time, had been more initially successful, then fell apart, and then rebuilt themselves into a playoff team before the Grizzlies were even capable of winning 25 games. Over the years, attendance dwindled until it was among the worst in the league.

Now, I have two general comments.
  1. Man, the Grizzlies sucked.
  2. How cool is my program, that I'm allowed to write about this dumb crap for marks?

My newest ambition

It has become my most recent life's ambition to become a cool enough guy for Sarah Slean to date.

I was feeling a little uncomfortable in my new surroundings here on blogspot, longing for the familiarity (and relative sanity, I should mention) of how Livejournal worked. That was, until I found this.

My first thought upon seeing this was "Whoa, don't the record labels have some people to maintain some kind of non-blog-community blog for her?" My second thought was, "Crap, my profile says under favourite music 'pre-2004 Sarah Slean'". (There was also some swearing going on in there.) So in response, I have thrown on "Day One" and am giving it some more time to grow on me. If you read this, Ms. Slean, it's going alright. And "Night Bugs" is fscking amazing.

So if blogspot is good enough for an inestimable arteest like Sarah Slean, doggone it, it's good enough for me.

Current music: Sarah Slean - Day One

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

"As I once said at Khe San, I surrender"

FINE. You WIN. Since EVERYONE I KNOW has gone blogspot and left me all alone at, I have decided to take the "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" stance.

Not that it matters, since before long I'll be blogging at most once a month.

Anyway, what better way to introduce oneself to a new blogging community than with, in true Asbestos Concern fashion, a list. So today, we have the


  1. Whisk
  2. Dish rack
  3. Wok
  4. This package of five tupperware-like bowls that you can store like one of those Russian nested-doll-things that looks like one doll, but then you open it up and then there's another one, and you can do this about four times
  5. Desk lamp
  6. Two "hand-made" glasses (no two are the same!)
  7. Cheese grater, except for the damn cinnamon grater part
  8. This weird thing that I don't have any use for, but I suspect it might be a very poorly-designed potato masher
  9. Ladle
  10. Garlic press

Damn, that was way harder than I expected it to be. No wonder I only do this once a month.

Current music: Neko Case - Deep Red Bells